When I moved to Portland the first time I was running. Running from depression, from fear, from disapointment, from pain, from consequences, from myself, from God, from embarrassment.
When I moved back to Texas from Portland the first time I was running. Running from pain, from embarrassment, from consequences, from bad choices, from the unknown, from temptation.
When I moved to Portland the second time I was running. Running from disappointment, from loneliness, from fear, from embarrassment, from the unknown, from stagnation, from God & purity & trust & faith.
I'm about to move back to Texas. This time for a good, long while...if not forever. And this time I'm not running.
In BSF we've been studying Isaiah and it has really been speaking to me on the whole concept of prophesy, exile, rebellion, and redemption from the Lord. Not long before I found out I would be returning to Texas we studied this passage and not to personalize the Bible too much, but I felt like God was applying this to my life, saying to me in my heart, this is you right now.
Out of here! Out of here! Leave this place!
Don't look back. Don't contaminate yourself with plunder. Just leave.
But leave clean. Purify yourselves in the process of worship,
carrying the holy vessels of God.
But you don't have to be in a hurry.
You're not running from anybody!
God is leading you out of here,
and the God of Israel is also your rear guard.
Isaiah 52:11-12 The Message
Since moving back to Portland the second time the Lord has both broken me and healed me. Broken me of my pride and own self destruction while simultaneously and graciously healing me of depression, pain, dissappointment, and shame and teaching me how to trust and live in faith, to live loved.
I am leaving Portland not because I am running from anyone or anything, but because God is gracious and has made me whole and free. Free to make good choices, free to seek Him and beg Him to refine my heart, free to pursue the refined desires of my heart in submission to His will and in the peace of trusting His ways.
I am leaving a place that I dearly love and people I dearly love for a place that I adore with people I adore. Portland means so very much to me; it is precious. Houston is indescribably home. My coworkers at Multnomah have been some of the kindest, most loving, most welcoming, most godly people I have ever known. My family is a profound blessing.
I am not running. I am choosing. I am walking away, calmly, serenely, happily, gratefully, humbled, and knowing who I am and who I am loved by. I am overwhlemed by the Lord's kindness - to save me, to teach me, to discipline me, to lead me, to redeem me, heal me, and most of all to love me so, so, so very well. Perfectly.
I can see the difference. I'm a mess and I always will be, but in Him, well, who cares about me when there's Him? I even forget to worry about myself in the light of His goodness, grace, and power...and that is a wonderful state of living. :)
No more running.
Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For His sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes from faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith - that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and may share His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me His own. Philippians 3:8-12 ESV